Thousands of homes across UK left without water as thawing temperatures bursts pipes

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Thawing temperatures have led to burst water pipes (Twitter/Thames Water)

The worst of the snow from the ‘Beast from the East’ may be over but the thawing temperatures have left thousands of homes without water.

The bad weather has caused pipes to burst, leading to problems with mains water supply across the UK and Ireland.

Four companies – Thames Water, South East Water, Southern Water and Affinity Water – urged customers who do have running water only to use it where essential.

Residents without water are being given bottled water while the pipes are fixed (PA)

In a joint statement, they said: ‘Where possible, take short showers rather than baths, do not leave taps running unnecessarily and only run washing machines and dish washers when you have a full load.

‘This will make a real difference.’

Thames Water said that around 12,000 people in London were without water on Sunday evening, while companies handed out bottled water to affected customers over the weekend.

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One school in Streatham, south London, said it would not open on Monday due to a lack of water on site.

A tweet from the Dunraven School said: ‘We’d hoped things would have been resolved by now. No water on either site means we can’t open the school. We will update families when we can.’

The fallout from last week’s big freeze comes as National Energy Action, a charity that campaigns to end fuel poverty, told The Telegraph that the death toll could reach 2,000.

Volunteers from South East Water help distribute bottles of water to residents in Lenham, Kent (PA)

Peter Smith, director of policy for the charity, said that the weather could see as many as 100 people per day dying in cold homes this winter, compared to the five-year average of 80 people per day.

The Met Office’s chief long-range forecaster also revealed that he warned ministers a month ago about the cold weather that was about to hit the country.

However, the Met Office said Mr Scaife was referring to a three-month outlook and that the full extent of the Beast from the East only became clear around 10 days before it hit the UK.

Engineers are working to fix the water pipes for households across the country (Twitter/Thames Water)

The barrage of snow which struck the UK last week may be thawing in many parts, but the repercussions are still being felt across the country.

A flood warning is in force for parts of Halesworth in Suffolk, with rainfall and melting snow causing danger.

Meanwhile 33 flood alerts are in place, largely concentrated in the west of England and Wales.

On the rail network, there are warnings of disruption to Arriva Trains Wales, cancellations on some Great Yarmouth to Norwich services run by Greater Anglia, as well as early morning Glasgow Central to London Euston services on Virgin Trains.

Temperatures rose above freezing over the weekend after the Beast from the East and Storm Emma brought a deep cold snap during last week which saw the first day of meteorological spring.

The mercury is predicted to hit 11C (52F) in London on Monday but weather warnings for snow and ice are still in place for parts of north England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

While Met Eireann has yellow and orange alerts in place for snow and ice which run until midday on Monday.

UK roads became treacherous after the Beast from the East hit the country last week (PA)

Forecaster Mark Wilson said: ‘There will be a noticeable change in the weather, it will be less cold and there will be less snow and ice.

‘We are now going to see slightly less cold and milder weather, by Monday afternoon the temperature could be in double figures.

‘There is a snow and ice warning for most of Scotland, through the day the snow will be restricted to the higher ground.’